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Football Official Gets Plowed at Ohio State

Ohio State running back plows the umpire
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

I am in my sixth season as a high school football official. My normal position is umpire – the guy who is standing 5 to 7 yards behind the linebackers on the defensive side of the ball. The position should be called the “bumpire” because you’re like the bumper in the middle of a pinball machine with the moving in your direction much of the time.

Jim Krogstad was the “bumpire” for Ohio State’s game against Florida A&M. He got bumped into by Buckeye running back Jordan Hall which sent him into a Florida A&M defender who accidentally knocked him down. Hard. It turned out to be a nice block to spring Hall for the touchdown.

It looked like poor Jim was trying to get out of the way of the really big offensive lineman coming at him and that sent him into the path of the running back. He was unhurt finished the game because he’s tough, he’s a “bumpire.”

I’ve thrown my fair share of ref-blocks myself. There have also been a few occasions when I could have gotten credit for assists. The running back wouldn’t see me, we would collide, he would lose his balance and subsequently be brought down. But I never got knocked down. I used to be a little cocky about it. Until last year when I got knocked out.

During a 9-man game on a smaller 80-yard field, I was watching the linemen as a play developed and moved to my right. The runner had busted one around the end and was moving up the sideline. As my head turned following it I didn’t notice a defensive back taking off at an angle to cut off the play. Something hard hit me on the left side of my head. Everything went dark for a second. I don’t remember falling, I just remember laying prone on the ground and saying “Ow!”

The worst part was that an official’s timeout had to be called for the official, me, who was laying in a pile in the middle of the field. The trainer came out to check on me, which was embarrassing. I didn’t have a concussion, thankfully. Just got my bell rung a bit. I later found out that the defensive back’s shoulder pad was what hit me and knocked the lights out.

This year I got cracked in the head again, this time by a player’s helmet. I only went to my knees this time and the game didn’t have to be stopped, but it hurt like hell.

As embarrassing as these incidents were, they weren’t as bad as the time I left my fly down. Don’t ask, I’m not telling that story.

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